Clean Energy News

Rural Advocates: Restore Renewable Energy Money to Farm Bill

Farmers and small business owners who want to embrace renewable energy will not get any help from the federal government under the proposed farm bill headed to the U.S. House of Representatives this week. 

Funding for the Rural Energy Assistance Program has been eliminated in the current draft. 

Rural Rockstars: Washington County farmers are stewards of the land

In 2013, Iowa launched the Water Quality Initiative, an action plan to meet the goals of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy to cut pollution and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. The initiative urges farmers, landowners and city residents to voluntarily adopt conservation practices that fit their unique needs and landscapes. Five years after Iowa started the Water Quality Initiative, I traveled to the county with the most acres in cover crops to see what makes them different.

Transmission line development: the benefits, effects, and how to prepare yourself

Three development projects in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota show how states manage revenues and tax assessments from transmission lines in different ways.

Center for Rural Affairs policy associate, Katie Rock, and policy associate, Lu Nelsen, recently discussed these examples on the Rural Matters podcast with host John White. They also gave tips on how best to communicate with developers, as well as advice for community members on how they can educate themselves about development projects.

Iowans respond to clean energy growth

During the past two decades, Iowa’s wind energy industry has created 8,000 to 9,000 jobs, spurred billions of dollars in investment, and provided Iowa landowners with $20 to $25 million in annual land lease payments. With nearly 7,000 megawatts (MW) of installed wind capacity, the state generates more than 37 percent of its power from wind.

Similarly, the Iowa solar industry has begun to follow an impressive growth curve. The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates Iowa will install approximately 225 MW of solar during the next five years.

Recommendations for crafting wind ordinances

Wind turbines are multiplying across the U.S., and most are installed in rural areas overlooking crops, cattle, timber, and lakes. Rural communities receive several benefits from the development of wind energy, but the growth of the industry has also presented a challenge in the form of local regulations that may be insufficient or out-of-date.

We suggest residents and local officials take the following steps when drafting new zoning regulations or ordinances.

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